Sandra Bland Case Is Still Pending Indicates Perlmutter & Schuelke, PLLC



Austin Personal Injury Lawyers

Austin Personal Injury Lawyers - Perlmutter & Schuelke, PLLC

Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) February 8, 2016 – The Sandra Bland case drew a lot of media fire and public condemnation, and her name joined others as a byword for the Black Lives Matter movement. Bland was apprehended in July 2015 by Public Safety Trooper Brian Encinia during a routine traffic stop, which escalated into a heated incident captured on video by the trooper’s dashcam. Bland was found dead in her cell three days later.

A grand jury declined to indict anyone for the death of Sandra Bland, including jail staff at the facility where she was held and found hanged, during the trial five months after her death. In early January, Encinia was indicted for perjury, because the jury did not believe he was telling the truth regarding his reasons for pulling Bland out of her car. Her family is also pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit, and the trial is set for January 23, 2017.

“Bland was arrested on July 10 during the course of a traffic stop that escalated out-of-control,” said Austin wrongful death attorney, Brooks Schuelke of Perlmutter & Schuelke, PLLC, who is not involved in the case. The video released on the incident shows Bland refusing to get out of her vehicle until Encinia aimed a stun gun at her and yelled, “I will light you up!”

Bland subsequently got out of her car and was forced into handcuffs by Encinia, who charged her with assaulting a public servant. Three days later, jail staff found her hanging in her cell by a plastic garbage bag. The coroner ruled the death as a suicide. Bland’s family, did not agree with the coroner’s finding and continues to dispute it.

Bland’s mother claims Bland was denied her constitutional rights, which led to her death. The wrongful death lawsuit was filed in August 2015, naming three defendants: jail officials et al., the County Sheriff’s Office, including the arresting officer, and the Texas Department of Public Safety.

“This is a case that may never end to anyone’s satisfaction, but it will have its day in court,” said Schuelke. “Wrongful death lawsuits are difficult to begin with, but add in further complications like the Bland case, and plaintiffs are at a significant disadvantage.”

The point in filing a wrongful death lawsuit is not to obtain revenge, but to provide a grieving family with a vehicle to send a message to others that the circumstances of their case should not be allowed to happen ever again. The difficulty with the Bland case is that the details of her death remain shrouded in mystery and may never be known in full to bring about either a resolution or closure.

“In a wrongful death situation, we spend a great deal of time reviewing the details of a case and informing potential plaintiffs of their legal rights, what to expect, how a wrongful death case is different than a criminal case and what possible compensation they may obtain from the courts if they wish to proceed,” said Schuelke.

It is best if a family or relative wishes to file a wrongful death lawsuit to retain legal counsel as soon as possible to reduce the risk that evidence is lost and to avoid the risk of time running out according to the statute of limitations.

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